The Regina Catholic School Division, located on Treaty 4 territory, in keeping with its philosophy, recognizes that pupils of First Nations, Métis and Inuit ancestry represent a significant group. Divergent educational responses may be required to help them succeed in their educational development.
Regina Catholic Schools focus on the Education Sector Strategic Plan outcomes and priorities to ensure increased awareness and understanding of First Nations and Métis cultures and to support equitable opportunities and outcomes for students of First Nations and Métis ancestry. Supports are offered in the following initiatives:
Mandatory Treaty Education K-12 Regina Catholic Schools continue to work closely with the Office of the Treaty Commission to build system wide capacity. A team of Treaty Teacher Leaders assist and support teachers at their respectful schools in the successful implementation of the topic of treaties in the classroom and actualization of the Renewed Treaty Resource. Teachers of PreKindergarten to grade 12 students are provided professional development opportunities on the implementation of Teaching Treaties in the classroom.
Cultural Classrooms 1 elementary school (Holy Rosary Community School) and 1 high school (Miller Comprehensive Catholic High School) have established multicultural classrooms that provide increased awareness and understanding of First Nations and Métis cultures within the school. These single classrooms embrace First Nations and Métis traditional values, but are inclusive to the diverse population of students in the schools. The Medicine Wheel is an important symbol used in the classroom to promote peace, harmony, balance and connection.
Honoring Cultures in the School Creating a sense of pride and identity is promoted through First Nations and Métis dance and music within schools. Miller Comprehensive Catholic High School and Archbishop M. C. O’Neill Catholic High School have implemented a First Nations Drum group facilitated by First Nations brothers who teach traditional First Nations drumming and spiritual teachings to a group of boys.
First Nations Elders "Traditional Knowledge Keepers" in Residence First Nations Elders are available to the schools. The Elders in schools assist with cultural awareness, link First Nations and Métis community to school, support the retention and aquisition of First Nations, Métis and Inuit cultures, provide support and advocate for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students and families and assist teachers within the classroom. Regina Catholic School Division Elders assist the schools by offering curriculum actualization and promotes Catholic distinctiveness.
Circle of Voices
First Nations, Métis & Inuit Education Advisory Committee
LEADING TOWARD INSPIRING SUCCESS
In March 2009, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education released a document entitled Inspiring Success: Building towards Student Achievement to school divisions across the province. This document defined First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) education as being holistic, lifelong and culturally responsive, equitable opportunities for all students, acknowledgement of Elders and traditional knowledge keepers who reveal FNMI worldviews as valid ways of knowing and the incorporation of FNMI ways of knowing.
With these characteristics in mind, coupled with positive student achievement indicators as a significant end goal, Regina Catholic Schools embarked upon a journey of “inspiring success” for FNMI students and families.
As the First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations are changing at a significant rate within the city of Regina, and the province of Saskatchewan, student demographics are constantly changing within Regina Catholic Schools. The Board wishes to ensure Regina Catholic Schools are able to meet the needs of FNMI students by preparing them to be contributing, faith-filled members of society in the 21st century.
In keeping with the Regina Catholic School Board Policy, the Board “recognizes that pupils of Aboriginal ancestry represent a significant minority group. Divergent educational responses may be required to help them succeed in their educational development (Aboriginal Education Administrative Application 1300)”. In 2006-2007 the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education department of Regina Catholic Schools researched and summarized past, current and suggested future practices, within Regina Catholic Schools, and met with numerous dialogue groups to create a vision for the future.
From this vision the Circle of Voices Advisory Committee was realized. The following information is to provide a better understanding of the current committee’s commitment.
This advisory committee will provide opportunity for on-going dialogue between First Nations, Métis and Inuit students and parents within Regina Catholic Schools.
The Circle of Voices advisory committee exists for the following purposes:
- TO establish a shared vision to ensure improved outcomes for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students within Regina Catholic Schools
- TO address the educational issues surrounding First Nations, Métis and Inuit students
- TO provide on-going support for First Nations, Métis and Inuit education goals
- TO facilitate First Nations, Métis and Inuit community support
- TO advocate for all First Nations, Métis and Inuit students
- TO build capacity as catalyst leaders
- TO foster relationships with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities
- TO improve communication between the First Nations, Métis and Inuit parents and the school/school division
- TO address issues of social justice
- TO enhance cultural sensitivity within Regina Catholic Schools
- TO identify gaps in services and advise solutions
- TO serve as a sounding board for policies, procedures, initiatives, and programs in relations to First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education
The Circle of Voices advisory committee has a diverse membership consisting of 22 individuals that represent the First Nations and Métis community i.e. Elders, Regina Catholic School parents, teaching and support staff, school administration, senior administration, board office representation and school division board of trustees.
Self-Declaring First Nations, Métis and Inuit